Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:30 UK

Thales factory in Wells could close in 2011

Thales factory in Wells
A consultation with staff will begin at the end of May

Defence electronics group Thales has announced proposals to close its factory in Wells by March 2011.

The factory's 550 workers will be offered alternative employment either at another Somerset site at Templecombe or in Basingstoke.

The company, which manufactures software for the military and civilian market, said the factory was no longer fit for purpose.

A 90-day consultation will start on 31 May.

A spokeswoman for Thales UK said the move was necessary to remain "competitive and responsive to market demands".

The air operations side of the business would be relocated to Templecombe, while the national security and resilience business would move to Basingstoke with supporting 'hubs' in Templecombe and Bristol.

The spokeswoman said: "We understand that this is a challenging time, but our employees are our most important asset and are they are key to our success.

"It is crucial that we retain the considerable skills and experience of our people when moving forward.

"We are committed to supporting and consulting with our employees through these proposed changes."

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